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Old 09-12-2011, 07:36 PM   #1
neko
 
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I know the answer is out there somewhere, but I seem to be missing it. Maybe it is the lack of sleep related to my 10-day old son.

I'm looking to set up an easy fermentation chamber, and step up from a swamp cooler. Can I just get a chest freezer or fridge with a temperature controller and call it a day? I would need to be able to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. I found all the threads with the DIY electrical diagrams and miscellaneous parts from the stores, but that's not what I want since I'd rather pay a little more and have more time with family.

Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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You nailed it. Temp controller and craigs list freezer was the the best thing I've done to improve my beers. I actually have migrated to another temp controller and fermwrap so I can have a lager and ale going the same time in the same freezer.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makomachine View Post
you nailed it. Temp controller and craigs list freezer was the the best thing i've done to improve my beers. I actually have migrated to another temp controller and fermwrap so i can have a lager and ale going the same time in the same freezer.
nice!
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makomachine View Post
You nailed it. Temp controller and craigs list freezer was the the best thing I've done to improve my beers. I actually have migrated to another temp controller and fermwrap so I can have a lager and ale going the same time in the same freezer.
Will the fermwrap keep up with the low lager temps?
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keg2881 View Post
Will the fermwrap keep up with the low lager temps?
I've run a lager at 49 (freezer controller) and had an ale at 68 (fermwrap) with no problem. I wrap my ale in an old wetsuit to help insulate - but you could use anything to help hold the temp. I'm confident I could drop the freezer to 35 for lager phase and be just fine.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makomachine View Post
I've run a lager at 49 (freezer controller) and had an ale at 68 (fermwrap) with no problem. I wrap my ale in an old wetsuit to help insulate - but you could use anything to help hold the temp. I'm confident I could drop the freezer to 35 for lager phase and be just fine.
Dang, I didn't realize that those would work that well in freezer conditions. I picked up a 22cf chest freezer yesterday and am in the planning stages of getting it set up as a ferm chamber. Should I buy two of the ebay temp contrillers?
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keg2881 View Post
Dang, I didn't realize that those would work that well in freezer conditions. I picked up a 22cf chest freezer yesterday and am in the planning stages of getting it set up as a ferm chamber. Should I buy two of the ebay temp contrillers?
The key is insulating the carboy and fermwrap. Thermal mass of the fermentation helps it along if you insulate the carboy. I like the Ranco digital controllers and it's all I run. I've got no experience with the Johnson units other than I know they are slightly cheaper for the base digital but require some manual connection changes to go from cool to heat mode. I'm picking up a third unit this week and likely picking up the Johnson to control my kegerator - so will let you know my thoughts.
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Bottled: Nada!
In Process: Braggot
Upcoming Brews: Surley Furious Clone, Uintah Wyld

 
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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Temperature controll is the way to go.

BTW, congrats on the birth of your son. Your first?
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:44 PM   #9
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Freezer + temperature controller.

I have 2 of them. 1 for fermentation temperatures and 1 for serving temperatures.

 
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:17 PM   #10
neko
 
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Thanks for the responses. Didn't want to get things going and then realize I needed more equipment.

It's my second son, but everyone's different and you have to quickly remember things that 3 year-olds don't deal with.
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